Fifteen-year-old Brittney Ryan has taken to the streets. Leitha, her older sister and legal guardian, hires private investigator Nicholas Colt to find her and bring her home. Piece of cake, Colt thinks. With Brittney's forbidden boyfriend's address in hand, he plans to make a surprise visit and put this one in the scrapbook. But something more sinister is behind Brittney's disappearance, and Colt soon finds himself in an ever-widening maze of deceit, betrayal, and murder. When Colt learns what the mysterious phrase Pocket-47 means, he is haunted even more by the plane crash that killed his family and rock band twenty years ago-a crash he now realizes might not have been an accident. Determined to save Brittney, Colt struggles to untangle the threads of his own tortured past. Unfortunately, one of the most heinous and violent criminals in modern history has other ideas.
Hardin gets everything right in his powerhouse thriller debut, which introduces rock star turned PI Nicholas Colt. The sole survivor of a plane crash that killed everyone in his band as well as his wife and baby daughter 20-some years earlier, Colt now works out of an SUV in north Florida. Strapped for cash, he agrees to help 23-year-old Leitha Ryan track down her missing 15-year-old sister, Brittney. Leitha is reluctant to involve the police out of fear that they will return Brittney to foster care. What appears to be a straightforward case proves to be anything but. Colt uncovers several murders as it becomes clear that Brittney disappeared in order to hide from someone who wants to kill her. The violence, while sometimes extreme, is never gratuitous, and Hardin crafts a well-constructed plot and conjures up a flawed protagonist who's more than capable of carrying a series.